Thursday, June 13, 2024

Ferrania Orto 50 35mm Film


I've recently tested Ferrania's Orto 50 in 35mm for the first time. As with all new film stocks I was excited to give it a try. 

I shot a roll through my Nikon F4 and a roll through a Hasselblad X-Pan. Both rolls were used on different but very sunny days. Both rolls were home developed using stock Kodak D-76 for 7 minutes as recommended by Ferrania.  

Not going to lie I didn't like the results. The key word for this film based on how I shot and developed the film is CONTRAST.  This might be an understatement. Honestly, the images straight out of the scanner are unusable without significant editing. 

Examples from the XPan:

Examples from the Nikon F4:

I might be able to tone down the contrast and improve quality of the images by spot metering on the shadows. However, the Nikon was matrix metered and I didn't consider it with the XPan.

A few observations about the images without editing:
  • The shadows / midtones are so dark every dust spot shows up like a spotlight,
  • Highlights are surprisingly understated,
  • Grain is very fine / almost non-existing,
I did not shoot any of the images in overcast conditions, so this condition may be better for the film.

HOWEVER, there is detail in the shadows and because of the fine grain / moderate highlights there is lots of room to edit the images. 

I normally don't spend much time editing my film images, but for this film I did .... A LOT. All of the images were edited in both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. 

Here are some of the above photos that have been edited:


Bottomline, I don't like making negative comments about any film stock, but I don't think I'll be using this film again. I prefer less contrast even though I enjoy the fine grain. However, if you enjoy contrast or are shooting in more muted lighting the Orto 50 may be for you.

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